Who Will Deliver Me? An Exegesis of Rom. 7:24—8:11 -- By: Stephen W. Frary

Journal: Faith and Mission
Volume: FM 17:3 (Summer 2000)
Article: Who Will Deliver Me? An Exegesis of Rom. 7:24—8:11
Author: Stephen W. Frary


Who Will Deliver Me?
An Exegesis of Rom. 7:24—8:11

Stephen W. Frary

M.Div. Student
Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
Wake Forest, North Carolina 27587

Introduction

Much ink has been spilled over the immortal soul of Paul’s “wretched man” depicted in Romans 7 (and some claim in chapter 8). Indeed, if eternal life means to live on in print, then we may say beyond any doubt that this man is saved. While great minds have viewed these chapters theologically—Luther seeing man as simul Justus et peccator and Wesley seeing “entire sanctification,” for most Christians the message is more intensely personal. In Paul’s baring his soul and failings in the last half of Romans 7, some believers, having “sinned and fallen short of the glory of God,” find comfort knowing that they share a part of their Christian struggle with great Apostle. Conversely, Christians seeking to forsake their past and forget what lies behind, press forward to Spirit-won victories rather than revel in their salvation and freedom described in chapter 8, as opposed to languishing in their lostness in chapter 7. The purpose of this work is to utilize the exegetical method described in Dr. D. A. Black’s Using New Testament Greek in Ministry as the methodological framework in examining how the text of Rom. 7:24 through 8:11 might bear on the salvific condition of the “wretched man.”

Historical Context

Paul’s authorship of Romans is virtually without dispute. Moreover, the testimony of Luke’s account in Acts, and the corroboration of other Pauline episdes also render nearly certain that Paul, having completed his third missionary journey has, in the course of evangelizing, also “remembered the poor,” by soliciting and receiving support from Gentile churches for their impoverished brothers at Jerusalem. En route to that city, sometime between A.D. 55 and 58, winter overtakes him, and he spends three months in Greece at or near Corinth. While waiting to resume his mission, he takes the occasion to write to the churches at Rome.

Concerning the recipients, Wolfgang Weifel’s essay ‘“The Jewish Community in Ancient Rome and the Origins of Roman Christianity”1 posits that Emperor Claudius’ expulsion edict against all Jews (noted in Acts 18...

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